Australian captain, Steve Smith has said that India has become his "home away from home" citing the hospitality that the country offers. The 28-year-old has also talked about the places of India where he traveled with his teams and picked Pune to edge out Dharamsala as his favorite.
Steve Smith, who captains Australia across all the three formats of the game, had a tough time in India after he was accused of cheating by Indian skipper Virat Kohli during the four-match Test series earlier this year. Following the Test series, he replaced Indian legend MS Dhoni as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiant which
“I love India, and I really enjoy being here for long periods while playing,” he said in an interview with Hindustan Times.
During the IPL, where Smith led his team to the final, he spent almost two months in India where he ended up traveling all across India and got the opportunity to observe the sub-continental country very closely. But having spent a huge period in the country, including the four-match Test series, Smith has gotten accustomed to the food he has picked up the local language as well. From
“We come so often, it has almost become my home away from home. I even have favorite restaurants. The food’s a bit spicy for me, but I can certainly make out the difference between North Indian cuisine and a South Indian preparation. Outside, the temperature takes a toll on you, but the warmth of the people makes up for that,” he said.
Hailing from a place where cricket is one of the most popular sports, even the Aussie captain was surprised by the sheer devotion that the sport enjoys in India. Smith has been so impressed by the "cricket-crazy" nation of the India that he went on to say that he would ask his friends to witness a game in India to see how big the sport is in the country.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But the passion people have for the game of cricket makes it so enjoyable for a professional cricketer to be here. If asked to pick one thing I love about Indians, it’d have to be their enthusiasm for everything: cricket, movies, and life in general. If I have friends visiting, I’d like to take them to a cricket match…you can’t see India through my eyes without experiencing the crowds and noise at a game,” he added.
Smith was one of the 22 players who were lucky enough to play the first ever Test match at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. Even though the Aussie was blown away with the view that the stadium had on offer, he went on to pick Pune as his favorite venue in Indi.
“I’d also take them to Dharamsala, which is so picturesque…Dharamsala is beautiful, but I must be politically correct, and being a Rising Pune Supergiant, say Pune’s my favorite city in India! Honestly, my second innings 100 in Pune recently is something I rate as one of my best ever…and us going on to win that Test match was fantastic!”